ALL indications are that it was a successful weekend all round for the 17th annual SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees.The number of people attending the festival has remained at around 45 000, “which we are extremely happy with in these tough economic times,” says festival director Jenni Honsbein.Nadine, one of the 30 national artists who appeared on the giant Adventure Province Main Stage summed it up in a tweet: “Die ongelooflikste verhoog, klank, organiseerder, span en mense!! Julle het my 2018 gemaak!”(“The most incredible stage, sound, organiser, team and people. You made my 2018!”)“Once again, thanks to the support we receive from the South African Police Service in the Sundays River Valley and our own security on the festival grounds, the three days of family fun were free of any major incidents, according to Honsbein. Sales at the annual Kirkwood Wildsfees Game Auction exceeded expectations in a very depressed market, says auction convener Johan Swart.Sales totalled R4,6-million, with all the game from the Addo Elephant, Mountain Zebra and Camdeboo national parks being sold.In 2017 the turnover was around R7,5 million. The top price was R130 000 for a buffalo bull from Camdeboo, with an Addo cow selling for R60 000 to a local breeder.A kudu bull with horns estimated at 54” went under the hammer for R60 000.All 70 of the genetically tested Cape Mountain Zebra from the Mountain Zebra National Park were sold. The biggest problem facing game farmers in the Eastern Cape is the ongoing drought, and most are keeping stock levels to a minimum in order to reduce feeding costs as the veld is largely depleted. “Given the uncertainty in the market due to the drought and other factors we are very happy with the result,” says Swart.